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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 15, 2011 6:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

Asked this below, but assume it is lost in the old thread: how many of you actually wrote in after buying S&R to "register" as a Dead Head?

I know from Rosey's analysis that very few of "us" were around in the early 70s, but the reason I ask is it seemed the only kept that going, at least as far as adding new folk, for a short time.

My father, in probably the only time we "connected" on the DEAD, got a real kick out of handing me my Christmas card I'd rec'd from them and it had to be late 70s, because I'd left the house when it happened, and saying to my little sister "you go to all the shows now...why's he getting a card?" She'd send in a post card, many yrs after me, and it never "took", neither did it for some friends. IE, I was perplexed by why I was still on some mailing list, and yet newbies were no longer being added...at least that's my recollection. Perhaps the mailing addy had changed.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Oct 15, 2011 6:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

I sent one in, but, being a "late" joiner in '75, never got a response. I assumed I had missed the boat, but I got on the bus anyway!

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Oct 15, 2011 2:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

Bought the Skull Fuck LP in the late fall of 1971 and followed the instructions.

DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we'll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.


The Summer/Fall 1973 mailing introduced us to the framework of the Wall of Sound, the concepts of St. Dilbert and Urobouros, (the desire for quality sound relating to supply and demand in physchedelic speak) and featuring the bands hand written spread sheet - pie chart. It also informed us of the Midwest Fall 1973 tour dates, Northwestern University 11/01/73 was our local performance venue.

The 1974 mailing featured the "full-on" Wall of Sound schematic with technical specifications for every musician and instrument. This may have been how we learned of the Des Moines 06/16/74 and Chicago Amphitheatre 07/25/74 performances as well.

Moving definitely limited information arriving in the mail from San Rafael but the growing word-of-mouth and FM radio advertising kept us informed on a "regional" level up to the creation of the GDTS hotline in the early 80's which made aquiring tickets for shows a much simpler process.

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Poster: Edsel Date: Oct 15, 2011 8:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

I responded to the S&R Dead Head invitation, started getting all sorts of nice little treats. Especially liked the "Samplers", still have a few.

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Poster: reviewr Date: Oct 15, 2011 5:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

I bought a used copy of S&R in about 1982. I mailed in a post card with the requested information, and got a Christmas card the next year (a cartoon of the band as skeletons dressed in pilgrim clothing).

I got nothing for several years, but eventually started getting a newsletter. This might be because I started getting mail-order tickets at this time - I don't remember if the newsletter or ticket orders came first.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 15, 2011 7:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

I always figured that they merged the old Deadheads list with the names off of the GDTS requests going forward.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 15, 2011 10:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

Interesting; yours is much later than the few others, incl UJ, I know of, that tried even in the mid 70s...maybe a few fell between the cracks, or a few like you were lucky. Odd that it seems so few of us here tried it, whatever the date.

I stopped getting anything in the 80s, and it wasn't til I bought something online in 06 or so that I now rec stuff regularly, but assumed these are two diff things...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Oct 16, 2011 12:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

I don't remember if I did or not. If I did, I obviously don't remember getting huge amounts of stuff. Dumb question, but was that the best way to get tix, pre-ticket service? I actually have no idea how I found out about shows. I was just tagging along with Those In the Know. I'd do the camp-out-in-line thing sometimes, or just go and get tix at the venue. But don't put me on the witness stand ... I dunno, maybe someone with better planning skills than me already had tix before we went. I was clueless, and tix just "happened."

I wouldn't be surprised if somebody I knew in the "real Deadhead" category (the magic 100-plus shows that Ringo mentioned, which I never did come close to achieving, LOL) had been on that mailing list from early on. Seeing shows in the late 70s, there were always folks in my general age group around who were hipper (or from the East Coast) and had been seeing them since the early 70s. (Not West Coast. West Coasters don't willingly move to the Midwest. Not even for college!)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 16, 2011 7:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

We got LOTS of stuff, but the tickets biz never happened that way for us East Bay sorts; it was already "go to the department store with ticket outlet sales" and go fast, before they sell out, etc. Someone would go and buy all the tickets they could, before limits, I guess, and we'd somehow have tickets for 20-30 people. Never had an issue. But recall, the DEAD cover band folks were IN to the music scene, so I was around people that did this full time. Even in HS.

The little demo records were the best, with Ring's favs of R. Hunter and some JGB...but lost all my stuff, in the 80s when I turned to the dark side.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 15, 2011 11:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

Hi Tell, I sent them my letter telling them 'who I was, where I was' etc., and started getting all of the odd mailings - tour listings, postcards, stickers, and those fantastic Monster T-shirt catalogs (where they described how they could get such vivid colors by individually silk screening each shirt, and 'using little animals ground up to get such strong colors' - or something close to that - now that was a conversation starter . . . .!) I flipped and was blown away when I got that fat envelope from them in '73 with all of the color postcards of their upcoming releases on their 'new labels', along with the 7" records with samplers from them all - hearing Jerry playing on the Keith and Donna and Hunter's tunes was such a surprise treat. The story of the evolution and design of the Wall of Sound along with drawings and schematics, and then the story of the 'prism pyramid' that they were seeing as the new way to play recorded music 'in the future', both helped turn a few of my more skeptical audiophile college mates into 'true believers'. Tactile, functional physical keepsakes - gifts just for being a fan.

One of the best, and nicest things that came out of it was getting the letter in the Spring of '76 "inviting" us to pre-order 2 tickets per show for a couple of shows to their 'return from hiatus' tour coming that Summer to a lovely theater near you. Many folks here might not see this as anything new, being used to having GDTS around for most of their touring days, but at the time, this seemed like such a special nod to those that had signed on from reading that discreet S&R jacket notice. My girlfriend at the time - and now my wife of 33 years - got the invitation too. She was living on the East Coast at that time, but she opted to use her 'invites' to purchase tickets, along with me, for the Chicago Auditorium run (we got two tickets for each of the four nights, but gave one night's tickets (6/27) to friends that couldn't get any tix). This kind of special attention and perks was so much more impressive than anything the Magilla Gorilla Club and Banana Splits memberships ever offered up . . .

To this day, I'm still impressed that folks from all over, responding to some innocent 'small type' on an album jacket, could help form such a large, constantly growing and far reaching entity - and get cool, free stuff just by responding. You know you were with Deadheads if there was a Wake of the Flood Crow postcard or WOS picture taped to the wall, or there was a Monster catalogue sitting on a desk - or one of those 'Round Records' was on the turntable - good stuff, all . . . and I don't get the licorice thing, either.

This post was modified by duckpond74 on 2011-10-15 18:36:00

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 15, 2011 4:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

Great story...well, I suppose the responses suggest you did have to do it within a few yrs to get the treatment, and they did use it to help with promoting (ah...a biz plan, eh?) their attempt during the hiatus (and a bit pre-hiatus) to launch their own Round Records, take the process from the "suits", and do their own thing with high quality product, etc., etc. Too bad all of that went south, and they had to go "back" (to Arista?), but again, it was the thought that counted, and why "we" all thought our band was so much better than ANY other band, what with all this fan attention.

So, did you actually rec' yours "across the pond"? or were you "here"? Sorry, lost track of your whereabouts back then.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 15, 2011 7:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Serious question about the DEAD HEAD biz...

". . . why "we" all thought our band was so much better than ANY other band, what with all this fan attention." . . . as well as their attention to detail and quality from the album covers to always striving to deliver the best sound possible. They never seemed to cut corners at the expense of fan satisfaction. Though, I'm sure they were constantly improving their sound to please themselves as much as the audiences. I had several friends tell me how strange it was that this weird band I liked would send out free records and stickers to their fans. I never came to expect anything on a regular basis, but when their mailings came, they were often that strange mix of news and facts with some odd fiction and myth, more than quick reads and then into recycling. You can definitely call what they were doing 'self promotion', but I had no problem with that, and I usually felt I was getting some cool gifts rather than in my face sales pitches. It seemed as good as any way to communicate and stay in touch with 'the family', and I always liked their aesthetic back then. I bet they kept their local post office in the black through those years of mailings.

And to answer your question, I was in the "here" in the Midwest when I started receiving their mailings. I'd be curious to hear if any folks abroad that signed up ever got any of the mailings.